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Happy Women



The Own My Life course's core principles are important to the course's method and delivery.

Woman centred


We centre women and girls and their needs in all that we do and we understand that a feminist analysis is necessary to effectively respond to male violence and the harm men do to women and children.


Alongside sex, there are other axis of oppression including race, ethnicity, sexuality, class, disability, gender identity, education, age, job, religion, and economic status that interact with the impact of male violence on women’s lives. (Crenshaw, 1991)


Abuse is rooted in ownership and entitlement

Men’s and boys' abuse and violence is rooted in their beliefs that they own their partner (and children) and they are entitled to behave in whatever ways they choose to.

Abuse is rooted in ownership and entitlement

Controlling Behaviour

Men and boys who abuse use various tactics to control women (and their children) and girls, to have power over them, and to maintain their beliefs of ownership and entitlement.

Abuse is controlling behaviour
Space for action

Space for Action

In order to be free from an abuser and move forward with their lives women and girls need space for action, where the abuser’s tactics become less effective and they have a supportive space to take positive action for their lives. (Kelly, 2003)

Consciousness Raising

This refers both to a woman’s consciousness of her own personal life, but also to gaining understanding about the dynamics of domestic abuse and what is driving the abuser’s behaviour.  It also includes socio-political education in identifying misogyny, patriarchy, and sexism in media, law, history, and across society.

Consciousness raising

Building Self-Efficacy

Women and girls need to be able to take back ownership of their lives from the abuser.  They can be supported to do this through having space for action and through consciousness raising.  Self-efficacy is defined as having confidence in your ability to exert control over your own motivation, behaviour, and social environment.  Helping women and girls to build self-efficacy is integral to recovery after a relationship with an abuser.  (Bandura, 1994)

Building self efficacy


Abusive men and boys kill women (and their children) and girls.  They rape, injure, disfigure and violate women (and their children) and girls.  Any intervention with women or girls may increase an abuser’s risk to them, and this requires practitioners and organisations to make every effort to maintain and increase the safety of girls, women and their children.

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